STAFFORD – The large Ocean County resource center on Route 9 at the former site of the St. Mary's Parish Center is set to go through renovations. The Southern Service Center will be renovated to accomodate the entire Meals on Wheels program in Ocean County.
In the past, the majority of the food was prepared and delivered from the center in Lakewood. The southern Ocean County center runs numbers of programs including Adult day care and senior services, for example. Offices exist in the center for the Veterans Service Bureau, county clerk, surrogate and the State Housing and Rental Assistance Program (SHRAP). The St. Francis Center on Long Beach Island also operates in a portion of the building.
The county will expand the kitchen at this site to provide meals for everyone who needs assistance in Ocean County. This site in Stafford is much larger than the northern site in Lakewood. There will be the transportation cost of delivering food here in Southern Ocean to the northern end of the County but officials believe the new can plan can be effective.
Area residents will be able to meet others and share a meal at the Stafford center also Monday thorugh Friday.
The Meals on Wheels program is for people
- Age 60 or over, who are homebound or may be Incapacitated due to accident, illness, or frailty.
- Unable to prepare meals safely, or lack the knowledge and skills to prepare meals;
- Lacking support from family, friends, neighbors, health aide or other caregivers to help secure meals;
- Who are spouses of homebound older individuals, regardless of age, if an assessment indicates that receipt of the meal is in the best interest of the client;
- Disabled who reside at home with an older eligible individual.
Each home delivered meal includes meat, fish or pasta, vegetables, bread, juice, fruit or dessert and milk. All menus are approved by a qualified dietitian and provide at least one-third of the recommended daily dietary allowances set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Meals on Wheels are delivered by our hardworking employees and many dedicated volunteers. Recipients often receive companionship and are looked after by those who come to the homes and make deliveries. There is an important social connection made at the homes.The county opened the center in 2011. It used to be St. Mary’s Parish. The senior nutrition site came two years later.
The county will bond $1 million to upgrade the center. The work is expected to be completed in 2018.